Jesus spoke in Luke 6 about good trees producing goos fruit and bad tress producing bad fruit. Figs, he said, do't grow on thorn bushes and grapes don't grow on brambles. He then makes his application to us:
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
It's that last little phrase that catches me: What you say flows from what is in your heart. Too often we excuse ourselves when we say bad things or react badly with words of condemnation and judgement. But our words aren't just the vocalisation of what we feel at a given moment in time, they are the fruit of what is in our hearts, which is something more significant, more personalised, a deeper expression of who we really are.
Look at what Proverbs has to say about looking after your heart:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.Proverbs 4:22-24
In the New Living Translation we read that it determines the course of your life.
And of course Paul points out that The peace of God, which is beyond human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7)
Two things at work then, firstly we have a responsibility to guard our own hearts. There are no excuses for how we act and speak. What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is deep within us. Secondly, we have access to the peace of God, something we can't easily fathom, but which serves as guardian to our hearts and thoughts.
Guarding your heart is not just about policing your words, it's about examining your life and allowing the Spirit of God to do his redeeming work in your life. Renewing your heart and mind, conforming you to the image of Christ and supporting you in your quest to become more like Jesus.
So monitor the health of your heart and adjust your spiritual exercise routine so that you are biulding a healthy heart not an unhealthy one.